Biz Buzz: Coalition is promoting green business

A coalition to form a Green Coast Innovation Zone on the Central Coast is moving forward, its organizers said.

The idea to promote the region as a place to encourage green technology firms started after several local representatives went to a Washington summit on clean energy hosted by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara. The representatives were Michael Manchak, executive director of the Economic Vitality Corp. of San Luis Obispo County; Pacific Energy Co. owners John and Stephanie Ewan; Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Patricia Wilmore; and Central Coast Clean Cities Coalition leader John Van Bogart.

As a follow-up to the summit, a group from San Luis Obispo County went to Santa Barbara in January to develop the green-zone idea with Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

The local group included Manchak, EVC board members Kris Vardas, Tim Mahoney and Mike Silacci, and representatives from businesses such as Cannon Associates, RRM Design Group, The Gas Company, AT&T, FirstSolar and SunPower, as well as San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach city leaders, and representatives from Cal Poly and the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

Manchak suggests that promoting the green zone would be an appropriate use of federal economic stimulus money.

— Melanie Cleveland

Sierra Vista picks new board members

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo has elected its board members for 2010.

Kristen Yetter, general manager and president of Promega Biosciences in San Luis Obispo is the governing board’s new chairwoman, while Phillip Kissel, a neurosurgeon in San Luis Obispo, is the new vice chairman.

The secretary and treasurer is Eric Schwefler of Caliber Accounting and Tax in Pismo Beach.

Newly elected to three-year terms starting this year are James Becker, vice president of plant operations at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant; Jill Bolster-White, executive director of Transitions Mental Health Association; and Tim Williams, president of Digital West Networks.

Continuing board members include doctors Rene Bravo, Phillip Borgardt, Danny Lickness, Eric Schultz, Otto Schueckler and Vance Rodgers, chief of staff at Sierra Vista.

Other governing board members include attorney Michael Morris; Anita Robinson, president of Mission Community Bank; and Chip Visci, associate vice president of external affairs and government relations at Cal Poly.

— Julia Hickey